North Saint Paul, MN
Help us to fund our Home Study - Interstate Adoption. Dear family, friends, and community at large, Im Amy, and I married my best friend, Steve, back in 1989. Our family grew through the birth of two sons in 1990 and 1994. Then we adopted another son, a seven year old, in 1997. Our three sons are now young adults, living independently yet close by. We have one infant grandson and another one on the way! We became vegetarians, at our youngest sons request, back in 2002. Then, thanks to online vegans, I found out about the dairy and egg industry and became an instant vegan, bringing my husband along for yet another amazing transition in life. That was four years ago, and we are now both strong vegan activists in our community. Steve loves to cook, teaches vegan cheese making classes and is an accountant. Im a care provider for seniors and a professional henna artist, and find myself rescuing chickens on a regular basis. Together we love ballroom dancing, camping, and hosting dinners for family and friends. We believe it is our purpose in life to leave this world a better place, to show compassion and to help others (human and animals). A year ago, I saw a notice online about a teenager seeking an adoptive family, and immediately felt drawn to him. Certain that my dear husband would not want to fill our empty nest again, I didn't inquire. A year went by and I saw his adoption ad again. I felt compelled to see if he was still seeking a home. My heart plummeted when I learned he was still without a family. No child should be without a family. Older children, particularly boys, hold a special place in my heart. As a mother of boys, and having already adopted an older child, I just felt I had to ask my husband if he would consider having our home and hearts grow just a bit more. After much discussion, research, and feedback from family, friends, and the teenagers social worker, we've decided that there is always room for more love. Who's this teenager? I'll refer to him, for privacy sake, as M. M is a vegan who loves cooking, art, math, heavy metal, and playing video games. M has a few medical issues and emotional traumas. He's a typical teenager, who is facing adulthood alone. Weve been in contact with Ms social worker, and although he doesnt know it yet, we think it will be an amazing match. Ms social worker recently asked him if he still wants to be adopted, and his answer was a very clear YES. He will need parents and a family, and we feel we are well suited to meet his needs and goals in life. Under the current system, when young people in foster care turn 21, they have the rug pulled out from under them. (They age out of the system). Unable to manage on their own, with none of the support systems in place that we all take for granted, all too often, they end up homeless, or turn to drugs and crime. Nationally, one in four of the 20,000 foster care youth who age out of the child welfare system each year are incarcerated within two years; one in five become homeless, only half graduate from high school. Because of their life experiences some kids need more support than others - and they may need it for longer. A 21-year-old who has lived most of his life in either the child welfare system or a dysfunctional family setting is not at the same level emotionally or cognitively as other 21-year-olds. And as every parent knows, you can't set an arbitrary schedule for maturity. Unlike our first adoption, the local MN social workers wont do an adoption study for our family for free because we are targeting a specific child in a different state. So we have had to work with Childrens Home Society to do our adoption study, which costs a hell of a lot of money. 3,200 for the Home Study, 1,500 for the Interstate Program Fee, and a placement fee (TBD). There are no guarantees that our adoption will go through, although we are fairly confident based on our conversations with M's social worker that we would be matched. M has to meet us and hopefully choose us to be his family. We've already committed ourselves to him and ask you to help us as we work to expand our family. Please consider donating to our Home Study/Interstate Adoption costs.